Orchestra 90cc for the Tandy Color Computer By Jon Bokelman. This five voice, six octave music synthesizer/composer was one of many program packs released by Tandy/Radio Shack. The package included a program pack with software in ROM and stereo DACs (digital to analog converters) for stereo 8 bit sound that could be connected to you stereo system via the onboard RCA jacks. Once created, songs could be "scored" then played. Songs could then be saved and loaded to and from disk or cassette without leaving the program. Since Orchestra 90 was originally written for other systems (TRS-80 Models 1, 3, & 4 in particular), it made for tons of songs available for download from Compuserve, Delphi and many BBS's. The program also featured an "Xfer" function for logging on to telecomm services like those mentioned above and uploading / downloading your music files straight to the computer for scoring and playing. This was my first Color Computer program and I personally spent about 5 years keying in original music as well as many popular songs, some of which will be featured here.
I know there's TONS of stuff out there for Orchestra 90 as it was ported to many systems including the PC... so lets hear some of those songs!
Orchestra90 Clones & Emulation
Ed Snider, from the Coco mail list and Color Computer FaceBook page, has been working on developing an Orchestra90 cart clone. The last mention I saw was that it was near being ready for production. The VCC Color Computer 3 emulator has a working Orchestra90 emulation. Mess also has the Orchestra90 emulation, but last I heard, it wasn't working correctly. I think XRoar Coco 2/Dragon emulator has also adapted an Orchestra90 emulation, but I have not tried it. In the downloads below, you will also find the "Orchestra Master", a software clone of the Orchestra90 the will play with or without the pak.
As a side note, the guys over at the Dragon forums have disassembled the Orchestra 90 ROM and modified the code to run with "Dragon DOS". Their modified code will run with or without the Orchstra90 hardware pak. When run as a standalone, the modified version will utilize the Coco's internal 6-bit DAC. The enhancements include a modified DIR command, a "RENAME" command and several other new features. This version of the Orchestra90 is in it's final stages of BETA testing and I will post it here as soon as they confirm it's stable. I may also do a conversion on their code to make these new enhancements available for the Coco 1, 2, & 3. Keep checking back for updates on this.
I just ran across a website featuring an audio album called "Coco" by Lee Rosevere. The music was created using a Tandy Color Computer 2, Musica II and the Orchestra 90cc program pak. The album is a free download and features some amazing work with the Orchestra 90cc and Musica II. Since the songs are free for download, and from what I read, they can be distributed freely, I am offering them as downloads here as well.
Visit Lee Rosevere's site and get the full history of the music. He is a pretty unique composer.
The Orchestra 90 files are in the Emulator Disk image format (.dsk). To download, right click "View" and select "Save as.." The music files on the disk are in the Orchestra90's original format and will play with the original Orchestra90 cart or Ed Snider's new Ochestra90 clone. BP